Today, on a day full of rain, Jack suggested we go out to a surprise location for lunch. I’m always down for surprises. By the time we drove into Bowness, I was hopping. “Angel’s?!” I guessed/demanded. Indeed it was. Angel’s Drive In.
Show me anyone who says Calgary’s got no charm and now I’ll tell them to get their butt down to Angel’s Drive In. This old-school diner was busting at the seams with charm when we walked in. Vinyl records lined the ceiling, James Dean posters decorated the wall and a little TV in the corner was blaring hits from the 60s and 70s. The only modern departures were the menu screens at the front, but the waitress also just let us grab a laminated placard and slide into a booth while we made up our mind.
After a bit of determination, we ordered the Salisbury burger ($6.50), with mushroom sauce and mushrooms over the patty, along with a side of fries ($5); and the regular burger ($4.50) with a side of deep-fried mushrooms ($5). Here’s the menu, taken at the time of our visit.
When our food arrived ten minutes after ordering, we were surprised. Despite opting for small sides, everything seemed so big. The deep-fried mushrooms were the first thing I bit into. A crunchy shell, dipped lightly in ranch, was immediately followed by a juicy burst. Oh glory. I would gladly come back to Angel’s just to order another side of those mushrooms. The fries were well done, too: lightly seasoned, fresh crisp exterior and pillowy potatoey interior, with absolutely no soggy bits.
As for the burgers, they were a-okay. Big soft buns, juicy patty, and all around fresh ingredients made both burgers tasty. The Salisbury was, in my opinion, worth the extra $2 relative to the regular burger, and the key was in the sauce. Creamy, earthy, full of umami, this butter-based sauce was full of onion and mushroom goodness. Mmm, and the deep-fried mushrooms. Like all good hobbits, I have a deep love for mushrooms.
In terms of value for price: yes, yes, a dozen times yes! The price point may be slightly higher than any fast food chain’s value menu, but Angel’s certainly beats out other big name diners like Denny’s or Applebee’s. On top of that, there’s the whole aspect of buying local, but I think Angel’s doesn’t need much argument. Just come with me next time and let’s eat some more of those mushrooms together.